Looking for external HD: Any brand that should be avoided?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by HarryWarden, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. HarryWarden macrumors 6502a

    Oct 27, 2012
    Are Western Digital ones good? Should I get one of those or are Seagate better? How about other brands?
  2. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    Platter based drive from any of the major players should be fine. If you are looking for speed, then the 7200RPM models would be your best shot. If you just want off Mac storage the slower 5400RPM "Green" drives will save you some money.

    I use a USB3 enclosure which I can swap drives in and out of...currently has w 2TB WD in it and is used for archiving so it's a slower drive..Cost me around £60 or $100

    Shop around and you'll find plenty of choice.
  3. HarryWarden, Nov 19, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  4. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    WD had a few driver issues recently but that's only if you use the custom turbo software which is junk. Otherwise, either if them should be fine. If I was going to choose I'd probably buy the Seagate.
  5. HarryWarden thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 27, 2012
    That's probably what I'll do, thanks for the help. Also, it appears Seagate drives come with their own bloatware as well. I assume it's better to delete or otherwise not use it same as WD's software?
  6. aham23 macrumors regular

    Oct 31, 2011
    ^^^^ correct. at least everything i have read suggest NOT using any of the provided software.
  7. Maomaomao macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2013

    I am also looking for an external hard drive, having just ordered an iMac with a 256 Gb SSD. My questions are: will there be any difference in performance over a portable and a desktop drive? I want to put my iTunes library and audio samples on it, so it will have to be switched on at all times. Will USB 3 be sufficient for streaming audio/files?

  8. opinio macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013
    By performance I am guessing you mean read and write speeds.

    Most portables are usually 5400rpm unless you get a special 7200rpm portable such as the Touro Pro. Desktops drives vary and are 5400, 5900 or 7200rpm. It is hit and miss sometimes. Seagate even produces 5900 and 7200 4TB desktop drives with the exact same labelling and box etc. You would never know unless you pull them apart.

    Seagate's 3TB drive (USB Desktop or OEM) is exceptionally fast (over 200MB/s read and write sometimes) and even rivals the WD Velociraptor that spins at 10,000rpm. It is also very good value for money. This drive would be my pick for value for money, reliability and performance.

    Seagate's 4TB is similar to the 3TB in performance, but only if it is the 7200rpm drive. The 5900 is cooler but not as fast performance wise (still surprisingly close though). They are close in performance because the 7200 spins faster but has 5 platters with lower density while the 5900 if 4 platters with the highest density. Simply put the 5900 spins slower because it can pack in more in the reading and writing. Once Seagate ups the 5900rpm 4 platter 4TB it will read and write a lot faster than the 7200rpm 5 platter 4TB. Having said that I believe they only make the 5900rpm version now. I run a 5900rpm 4TB in my Time Capsule and a whole bunch of 7200rpm 4TBs in RAID setups. The 7200's are hard to come by.

    Sorry for that ramble.

    Forget the 'green' drives if you are looking for performance.

    Generally though it can be said that Desktop drives are faster than portables more times than not, particularly if you get a 7200rpm one.

    Yes USB3.0 is plenty for streaming.
  9. Maomaomao macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2013
    Thank you so much for this useful reply, it's clearer now.

    http://www.hardeschijfstore.be/prod...pansion-hard-drive/&__utmv=-&__utmk=191487658 - Is this the Seagate 3 TB drive you were referring to? Sounds like a good deal.
  10. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    The best way to buy an "external" drive is to "roll your own".

    That is -- instead of buying a "pre-assembled" drive, buy a "bare" drive, buy an external enclosure (or perhaps a USB3/SATA dock), and then assemble it yourself.

    This way, you know what you're getting, and since you put it together, if there's ever a problem, you know how to take it apart, as well.

    Most drive enclosures go together with nothing more than a few screws and a screwdriver. Some kits even include the screwdriver. I have one 2.5" enclosure that didn't even need screws -- just snap it together.

    Do it this way, and you don't have to worry about bloatware clogging things up, either.

    Using a "docking station" has the additional advantage that "no assembly at all" is required -- just stick the bare drive into the slot and go. And -- if you have more than one drive, you can now "swap them around" as required. This is particularly useful for backups.
  11. opinio macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013
  12. Crazy Badger macrumors 65816

    Crazy Badger

    Apr 1, 2008
    First external I bought many moons ago was a Freecom drive. I've probably had around 20 since, or different shapes and sizes and they've all been from Freecom. Tend to pay a little more, but in all that time I've only had one fail and to be fair, that one took a beating carried around in my laptop bag for 3-4 years before it started to have problems. Didn't loose any data, as it showed some signs of trouble before finally giving up.

    Pretty much all my storage is local or network attached, so only have one Freecom drive left which is used for monthly TM backups, but if I needed another I wouldn't consider anything else.

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